A landscape of colour in Northern Ireland

Mount Stewart lake
Published : 20 Sep 2016 Last update : 17 Mar 2020

As the temperature drops and the light fades, enjoy magical experiences at our places this autumn.

It is a time of ‘nature’s plenty’ with an abundance of berries, fruits, nuts and seeds. It's also a time of change - as birds arrive, others leave on migration and animals get ready for the cold of winter.

Enjoy woodlands ablaze with colour, the crunch of leaves underfoot and a wonderful array of fungi in all shapes, sizes and colours, followed by the silver beauty of winter.

Autumn colour

Any woodland in late autumn will have trees showing autumn colours but the beech woodlands at Minnowburn and Castle Coole can be especially spectacular with leaves turning yellow, gold and orange before they fall.

Oak leaves
Placeholder Image
Oak leaves

Fantastic fungi

Have fun discovering the rather strange and mysterious world of fungi at Downhill Demesne, Mount Stewart, Rowallane Garden and The Argory. Take care on your fungi foray as some species can be poisonous.

Scarlet Elf Cup fungi at Springhill
Red fungi growing on a log
Scarlet Elf Cup fungi at Springhill

Reflections in a lake

Take in the stunning golds, bronzes and russet reds and see reflections in the lake at Mount Stewart, Castle Ward and Castle Coole.

Spectacular sunsets and dawn landscapes

With wide skies and uninterrupted views, Portstewart Strand and the Giant’s Causeway are perfect places to watch the sun rise and set on an early morning walk or evening stroll.

Birds in flocks

There’s nothing quite like the cacophony of sound as thousands of wildfowl arrive from colder climates to feed and rest. Enjoy the spectacle from the Bann Estuary bird hide and around Strangford Lough.

Brent Geese over Strangford Lough
Flock of birds on Strangford Lough
Brent Geese over Strangford Lough

Thrilling deer ruts

This is the time of year when stags and bucks develop antlers and fight rival males to attract a harem of females. Keep your eyes peeled for fallow deer at Crom.  

Deer at Crom
Group of deer
Deer at Crom

Wildlife watch

Look out for red squirrels at Mount Stewart and Florence Court and the secretive pine marten at Castle Ward and Crom. Spot a seal hauled up on rocks particularly at low tide around Strangford Lough or otters in Dundrum Bay.

Keep your eye out for these cute little critters
A red squirrel peeking out from behind a tree trunk at Mount Stewart
Keep your eye out for these cute little critters

There’s nothing better on a crisp autumn morning than venturing outdoors to explore colourful landscapes and discovering a world of wildlife. See things from a new perspective with a refreshing walk at any one of our special places.

It’s time to explore the great outdoors